Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, vol. 2: Dia-Ins
Todd, Robert Bentley
of the circulatory and digestive organs in the 
molluscous classes has induced them to place 
these, which in other respects are inferior 
in development, above the Articulated. We 
cannot, however, agree with those who consider 
the organs of nutrition alone of sufficient im¬ 
portance to allow of this deviation from the 
fundamental principle of arrangement, neither 
can we admit with others that the nervous 
system of the higher Articulata is inferior to 
that of the higher Mollusks, the Cephalopoda, 
while we ourselves claim for the higher Articu¬ 
lata the most decided superiority in the next 
essential character of arrangement—the deve¬ 
lopment of the skeleton and organs of locomo¬ 
Without entering further upon this difficult 
subject, we will simply state our conviction 
with Carus, Burmeister, and others, that the 
articulated ought to stand at the head of the 
invertebrated classes, seeing that they contain 
among them some of the most completely 
organized of invertebrated animals. W7e shall 
reserve for the present our explanation of the 
steps by which we propose to pass from the 
lowest vertebrated forms to these, in our esti¬ 
mation, the highest of the invertebrated, and 
proceed to consider the arrangement of Insects, 
as a class, as proposed by different naturalists, 
before we enter upon an examination of the 
peculiarities of these animals. 
The principles upon which naturalists have 
attempted to arrange this interesting class have 
been almost as various as the systems proposed. 
Aristotle among the ancients arranged Insects 
with reference to the presence or absence of 
the organs of flight ; and although he was far 
more successful than many of his successors in 
separating from Insects the Crustacea, as a dis¬ 
tinct class, his arrangement of Insects is not 
entirely natural, since it separates some of the 
most nearly connected families. Among the 
moderns, Aldrovandus, in the beginning of the 
seventeenth century, divided them into land and 
water Insects, and subdivided these groups into 
families according to the structure of their 
wings and legs. Swammerdam many years 
afterwards first proposed to arrange Insects 
with reference to their metamorphoses; first, 
those which undergo only a partial or incom¬ 
plete metamorphosis, and, secondly, those which 
undergo a true or complete one. The latter he 
again divided into those which undergo a slight 
change of form, but are active during the pupa 
state ; secondly, those which have distinct limbs 
but are inactive in that condition ; and, lastly, 
those which have no external development of 
wings or legs, but remain as inactive ovate 
pupæ. This was the first step towards arranging 
Insects upon a truly natural system; since, as 
Messrs. Kirby and Spence have justly ob¬ 
served/ although the employment of the meta¬ 
morphoses taken alone leads to an artificial 
arrangement, it is of the greatest use in con¬ 
nexion with characters taken from the perfect 
Insect, in forming a natural system. Our 
illustrious countryman Ray, in the beginning 
* Introd. to Entomol. vol. iv. p. 442. 
of the eighteenth century, followed the example 
of Swammerdam in arranging Insects primarily 
according to their metamorphoses ; and Lister, 
in 1710, followed with a modification of Ray’s 
classification, after which nothing further was 
proposed until Linnæus published the first edi¬ 
tion of his Systerna Naturæ in 1735. His arrange¬ 
ment was based upon the form and structure of 
the wings. By these he divided Insects into three 
groups. First, those with four wings, in which 
he included in three divisions those Insects 
which now constitute his orders Coleoptera, 
Hemiptera, Lepidoptera, Neuroptera, and Hy- 
menoptera. In the second group he placed 
Insects with two wings, his single order Dip- 
tera; and in the third, Insects without wings, 
his order Aptera. In this arrangement, founded 
partly upon that of Aristotle, Linnæus was 
particularly successful in establishing some very 
natural series, although in including the Crus¬ 
tacea among his Aptera, like Swammerdam 
and Ray, he receded a little from a natural 
system. After Linnæus, Degeer and Geoffroy 
each proposed a new arrangement, but it was 
not until an entirely new set of organs had 
been selected by Fabricius that Insects began 
to be arranged upon truly natural principles. 
The parts from which Fabricius drew his cha¬ 
racters were those of the mouth, by which he 
divided Insects primarily into two sections, the 
Mandibulated, or those furnished with jaws for 
comminuting their food, and the Haustellated, 
or those which take their aliment by means of 
a flexible elongated proboscis, without distinct 
manducatory organs. But the difficulty of 
forming a strictly natural system still existed, 
so long, as the characters employed were derived 
only from particular sets of organs, and not 
from a consideration of the whole. Cuvier, by 
founding his arrangement upon an examination 
of all the external organs, and thereby establish¬ 
ing natural families, advanced very far towards 
the object desired, and was followed by La- 
treille, Lamarck, Dumeril, Leach, Kirby and 
Spence, and MacLeay, who continued to im¬ 
prove the arrangement of the class. These have 
been followed by Messrs. Stephens and Curtis, 
and very recently by Mr. Westwood, the inde¬ 
fatigable Secretary of the Entomological Society, 
each of whom has proposed a different arrange¬ 
ment. But none of the systems hitherto pro¬ 
posed are entirely satisfactory, so great indeed 
is the difficulty of discovering the connecting 
links of families, which, distributed over the 
whole globe, are believed to include from 
100,000 to 150,000 distinct species; and this 
difficulty will probably continue until the in¬ 
ternal as well as the external organization is 
better known in a greater number of insects 
than it is at present, and applied to their 
arrangement, as has lately been done by Bur¬ 
meister. In the succeeding pages we shall 
adopt the arrangement of Mr. Stephens, giving 
a synoptical view of the families, with the 
addition of some of the recently established 
foreign ones, and shall also add particular 
descriptions of some of the most remarkable, 
referring our readers for more minute descrip¬ 
tions of them to Mr. Stephens’s admirable


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